Hershey Week 8 Recap: 25,017

Posted December 4, 2017


The last few years, the Hershey Bears annual Teddy Bear Toss has racked up international recognition. The toss Sunday night against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton was no exception, netting 25,017 stuffed toys for charity.

The Bears won twice and lost once in their three-in-three weekend, staying in Pennsylvania for all three games.

Hershey’s week began with a defender swap, getting Aaron Ness on loan from Washington and sending Kris Bindulis to ECHL South Carolina.

Ness slotted back in the lineup for the first game at Lehigh Valley, and went -3 on a night where only one Bear — Jeremy Langlois, +1 — finished positive. The Phantoms won big, 7-2, over their I-78 rivals.

Garrett Mitchell and Liam O’Brien got the only goals for Hershey, coming early in the second and midway through the third.

Pheonix Copley stayed in for the whole game, allowing six of the goals and stopping 34 shots. All Lehigh Valley goals came even strength, as both teams went zero-for-two on the power play.

Vitek Vanecek had better luck in net the next night, making all 21 saves on the way to a 3-0 shutout of the Milwaukee Admirals.

Ness scored his first with the Bears in the first, Mathias Bau continued his hot stretch with his seventh of the season on the second.

A late penalty on Colby Williams put the Admirals on the power play with 117 seconds left in regulation. In addition to not scoring with the extra attacker, Jonas Siegenthaler scored from his defensive zone to add a third goal to the scoreline.

The Teddy Bear Toss came late in the second period against the Penguins. Gage Quinney and Daniel Sprong were already on the board for the visitors, but a comeback capped in overtime by Chris Bourque sent the Bears to the win column, 4-3.

Prior to the game, Washington announced a call-up of Travis Boyd, putting Hampus Gustafsson in the lineup after going through the scratches skate at morning skate.

Gustafsson sent a pass to Liam O’Brien, who slid a shot below the legs of Anthony Peters. A near 15-minute dealy ensued to clean up the 25,017 bears thrown on the ice, even getting throws from the Bears radio crew high in the rafters.

The Penguins managed one shot the rest of the second period, and their offense followed the same pace the rest of the game. After a 14-shot first period, the Penguins put up five in the second and six in the third.

O’Brien scored again to open the third, tying the game by finishing a pass from Bourque.

A few minutes later, Tyler Lewington stuck up for his captain. Zach Aston-Reese boarded Mitchell, prompting Lewington to fling his gloves off and pound last year’s Hobey Baker Award winner to the ice. This was Lewington’s fifth fight of the year; he had three by this time last year. Lewington got an extra two minutes for roughing.

Jonas Siegenthaler gave Hershey a lead on a slapper through traffic past Peters. 55 seconds later, Tom Sestito tied it up again for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

As the game looked bound for overtime, Garrett Wilson put the puck over the glass without a deflection to put Hershey on the power play to start overtime. Sestito and O’Brien asked each other what the other wanted for Christmas, warranting matching 10-minute misconduct penalties to take them out of overtime.

Bourque ended the rivalry matchup with a snapshot, and went down the ice to jump into Copley’s waiting arms. Copley made 22 stops in the win.


Yet another three-in-three is on the docket for the Bears this weekend. Hershey will visit Lehigh Valley again on Friday, before welcoming them to GIANT Center on Saturday. And, again, the Penguins will come back on Sunday.


6th Atlantic Division, 11-10-0-3 (W-L-OTL-SOL), .521 points percentage, 25 points

Hershey Bears Teddy Bear Toss!